Publishers discuss how brand partnerships drive revenue for “Old” and “New” Media

One of the most exciting consequences of affiliate industry growth is how performance-based compensation are helping diversify revenue streams and create more stable publishing models.

Stream this panel discussion on-demand here.

Our thanks to FlipGive for sponsoring this panel.

Traditional publishing hasn’t had much to celebrate for some time. First, newspapers took it on the chin as classified moved to the web, cutting their most lucrative revenue stream. Then magazines and other forms of media felt the pain as Google and Facebook grabbed the lion’s share of digital ad revenue. Then programmatic took aim at the value of context, asserting that audience-based targeting was the alpha and omega of modern branding building.

But more recently, affiliate has transformed business prospects for publishers willing to tackle the challenge of balancing quality content with advertiser needs. At the May 2022 Martech Record Marketing Content and Commerce event, the final panel showcased three companies successfully balancing those forces and reaping tremendous benefits.

Breton Fischetti, VP-Commerce Revenue at Recurrent Ventures, Jackie Goldstein, VP-Commerce at New York Post, Nicole Philips, CEO of Qatch, and moderator Lauren Newman, SVP-Revenue at Skimlinks, discussed their companies’ distinctive approaches to marrying content and commerce successfully. Through this thought-provoking session, the audience learned that while their programs differ, each puts customer understanding and data at the center of the equation.

According to each of our speakers, cultivating audience trust is a daily challenge – and one that their publications must get right to build sustainable businesses. As the “walls” between content and brand messages fade, content creation must stay laser-focused on what customers want to know and what they need to know.

While the traditional editor|publisher divide was conceived as a good way of ensuring editorial integrity, many writers now accept that brand information can enhance the value delivered to the reader/viewer.

Further, according to our panelists, high-quality editorial has to reach beyond the classic bottom-of-funnel topics like “which bed-in-a-box is best?” There is a valuable place for that sort of content, but a robust editorial strategy needs to educate and inspire readers while helping tell the advertiser brand story transparently. Our speakers echoed the point from earlier sessions that brands need content to foster discoverability and drive immediate sales.

One of the ways each of our speakers has been able to gain the trust of once skeptical editorial teams is by sharing rich data about audience needs and behaviors. All editors understand that they can only effectively deliver on the mission of their publications if they are read. The customer information available for performance content is far richer and more informative than editors traditionally receive. Insights from the data help them do a better job meeting reader needs. This is true whether they are part of the oldest newspaper in the country or a publisher that has existed for under four years.

Over time, customer interests evolve and change. Rich data on search activity, content consumption,

and engagement rates help guide a better mix of content focused on customer interests. Our speakers noted that all industry participants must understand why every program must pass the editorial integrity test. Brand participation in the editorial process must be additive, with transparency at its foundation.

For their part, smart brands are building trust with professional content creators by recognizing and demanding meaning and credibility with every program or interaction. Finding the magic balance of content and commerce that unlocks value for customers, publishers, and brands.

Our thanks to FlipGive for sponsoring this highly engaging session.

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Check out photos of the panels and the rooftop cocktail hour.

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